From the MM

Damage Reduction (Ex or Su): A creature with this special quality ignores damage from most weapons and natural attacks.

So it's either Extraordinary or Supernatural. However, for example a Satyr which has Damage Reduction 5/cold iron, it doesn't mention if this is Ex or Su.

However the DMG says:


The arrow sticks into the vampire, but she just pulls it out and laughs as the wound instantly heals. “You’ll need to do better than that,” she hisses.

Some magic creatures have the supernatural ability to instantly heal damage from weapons or to ignore blows altogether as though they were invulnerable.

Where it says it's a supernatural ability. However; I would assume that it wouldn't always be supernatural, like in the case of a naturally thick hide or some sort of amazing healing ability (like Wolverine). Am I to read this that only magical creatures have it as a supernatural ability and others are extraordinary abilities?

Generally only interested in an answer according to published rulebooks.


2 Answers 2


The Monster Manual errata provides guidelines

The Feb. 17, 2006, errata for the Monster Manual on page 1 includes the following entry:

Damage Reduction

Damage Reduction is either extraordinary (Ex) or supernatural (Su). Use the following guidelines if it is not specified.

  • DR X/slashing, piercing, or bludgeoning should be (Ex)
  • DR X/adamantine should be (Ex)
  • DR X/— should be (Ex)
  • DR X/silver or cold iron should be (Su)
  • DR X/magic should be (Su)
  • DR X/chaotic, lawful, holy, or unholy should be (Su)

Thus the satyr's DR 5/cold iron is a supernatural ability.

  • \$\begingroup\$ How interesting! I didn't suspect this rule would be in the errata; it's not reflected by the hypertextSRD, which is otherwise such a reliable source. You've prompted me to write a message to the webmaster about it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eikre
    Mar 13, 2016 at 13:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Would these guidelines also apply to Pathfinder damage reduction? I'm having a hard time finding a definitive answer. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19, 2017 at 2:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SuperJedi224 A quick glance shows that in Pathfinder DR is typically a supernatural ability, but with the massive changes to polymorph et al., I must ask before delving into more research: Why the need to know? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19, 2017 at 5:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Both the bestiary and this page list it as (Ex or Su), without any clear indication as to when it is which. Would it be reasonable to assume that the guidelines from d&d also apply here? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19, 2017 at 11:01
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @SuperJedi224 Yeah, that's what folks seem to say: use the 3.5e rules. However, you might get a better answer (or, at least, more answers to pick from!) were you to pose this as an actual question, referencing this question. Some folks here delve deeper into Pathfinder than even I. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19, 2017 at 11:09

The Rules Compendium has a more elaborate entry for damage reduction, wherein it specifies that the quality is (Ex) when it is bypassed with piercing, bludgeoning, slashing, adamantine or when it has no particular vulnerability, and that it is (Su) when it's bypassed with magic, cold iron, silver, alignment, or "epic."


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